WASHINGTON — The chairmen of six U.S. bishops' policy committees
March 3 told members of the House and Senate that every decision they will make
on the federal budget "should be assessed by whether it protects or
threatens human life and dignity. A central moral measure of any budget
proposal is how it affects 'the least of these' (Mt 25). The needs of those who
are hungry and homeless, vulnerable and at risk, without work or in poverty
should come first," the six chairmen said.
They pointed out that the
government and other institutions have "a shared responsibility to promote
the common good of all, especially ordinary workers and families who struggle
to live in dignity in difficult economic times." The letter said the U.S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops supports the goal of reducing future
unsustainable deficits and believes the country has an obligation to address
their impact on the health of the economy but that a "just framework for
the federal budget cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to
poor and vulnerable persons."